I feel your pain... I've been on the Internet since '96 and have been using a 28.8k modem since then up until early this year when we got a Kyocera KPC650 and KR1 Router to use on the Alltel 1xRTT network. Why use a 28.8k instead of a 56k? Ask BellSouth/AT&T... they've been out to the house 4 or 5 times testing my line and they don't understand why my 56k modem won't connect.
Anyway, that's all behind me now... because the area is now EVDO Rev A and we're *flying* at a blazing 500-800kb/sec download rate and a 400ms ping time. Granted, my card is only Rev 0, but I just bought a KPC680 and it should be here next week... Rev A here I come! 1mbit?!?! 300ms ping time?! OMG! I wet myself!
Us rural users take what we can get... which is why I went ahead and had Cox installed in my new house. Moving out of my parents house when I get married in 59 days.